Leader: ‘Such reform woul be one positive legacy’

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The campaign to overhaul Scotland’s flawed system of Fatal Accident Inquiries has come too late to help the family of firefighter Ewan Williamson.

Four years after his tragic death saving the lives of others in the city’s Balmoral Bar his family are still struggling to get answers about the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

Our investigatory system should provide comfort and reassurance to grieving families in their hour of need. And it should be empowered to take decisive action to ensure that lessons are learned from terrible events such as the Stockline tragedy.

The reality is that those who deal with our current system too often find it perplexing, obscure and inpenetrable. Just when they need support most, they find themselves frozen out, and unable to get the answers they need.

It is too late to avoid the extra pain and frustration experienced by the Williamson family, but it is not too late to ensure others do not have to go through the same process. Reforming Scotland’s FAI system would be one positive legacy from the firefighter’s death.

Be thankful

FEd up with the Festival already? It’s true that many of us get very grumpy at this time of year. The pavements are busy, the roads are gridlocked and trying to get a table at a decent restaurant requires a lot of advance planning.

But perhaps we should think bigger. Edinburgh’s festivals are the envy of the globe. They bring millions of pounds of economic benefit into the region and provide us with world-class entertainment on our doorstep. If we didn’t have it, we would want it.

So next time you hear someone grumbling about the Festival, remind them that we are truly lucky to have the eyes of the world on us during August.